Sunday, February 11, 2007

Wireless at the Library

Greetings from the reading room of the National Library of Australia in Canberra. The Library provides free wireless access for registered readers. This takes some of the pressure off the limited number of workstations provided.

I signed up some time ago but because my previous laptop had a plug in wireless card (which I kept forgetting to plug in), I hardly ever used it. My new Twinhead 12D has wireless built in, so I decided to use it. Also my old computer had a noisy fan, which made it hard to use in a library. The keyboard on the new Twinhead is still not silent and I have to be careful not to type too fast as I make too much noise.

But why would you want to use a computer and Internet in a library? It makes it much easier to take notes when reading. I have been in the habit or reading something then going to a public terminal to look it up on the web and email myself the reference. With a working computer I can make notes as I go along.

Something else which will speed things up is spelling correction. I noticed that misspent words were being underlined in red as I typed them into the Blog software. I am not sure what is doing this. It seems to work in any web field I type into, so I think it is a function of the Mozilla Firefox browser, rather than the Blogger blog software. Whatever it is it is greatly speeding up my writing.

As well as using the wireless at the library I plan to use it at meetings. I have activated the wireless on my home router. This is connected to a iBurst wireless modem. I can plug the two units into a power point and the iBurst will receive data from the Internet and relay it locally via the WiFi. This is not quite as goos as having an iBust card in the laptop, but better than having to plug an Ethernet cable in.

When I bought my desktop iBurst modem these were cheaper than the PC Card units and the monthly access charge was lower for a desktop unit than a laptop one. The prices have changed so now the desktop unit costs more and there is no extra charge for mobile use.

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